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Gail's Quilting Blog

Quilt Classes

Welcome to Donna’s Quilt Studio

Donna's Quilt Studio

Donna’s Quilt Studio

Back in Hamilton, Marion and I made a quick stop at Donna’s Quilt Studio!   This is where we will be taking a 1/2 day class during my upcoming Quilting and Textile Tour of New Zealand.

Donna and Ashley

Donna and Ashleigh

Owned by award winning quiltmaker, Donna Ward and her daughter Ashleigh, a visit to these old friends was a treat in so many ways.  Above, Donna and Ashleigh show off the quilt they are raffling. The proceeds will go to help offset the costs of long-term rehabilitation for Libby Lehman, who suffered a stroke in April 2013.

Kiwiana Fabric

Kiwiana Fabric

I asked Donna to show off some of the Kiwiana fabric that she sells.  This fabric line features all the wonders of New Zealand in fiber, so that you can extend your memories of this great island nation.

Learn to Count

Learn to Count

There is even a panel that can be made into a Learn To Count soft book for young children.

Fantails - A New Zealand endemic

Fantails – A New Zealand endemic

The Kiwiana line of fabrics includes a wide array of designs from traditional Maori symbols to native birds.

Ashleigh, Donna, Yours truly and Merle

Ashleigh, Donna, Yours truly and Merle

Donna’s Quilt Studio is a family affair with Donna at the lead, daughter Ashleigh, and Merle, her mom!  I cannot wait to visit again in April 2014 with some of you and I can’t wait to see what Donna has in mind for our class!

Classic Car Museum

Classic Car Museum

And, for the men who will be on our tour and possibly not interested in a quilting class, the Classic Car Museum is right next door!

Car Art

Car Art

The vehicles range from this artistic alteration of a classic to the dream cars that are indoors!  It’s the perfect way for a gent to spend the morning.  I hope many of you will join me on this tour!

 

 

 

 

 

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Sensational Stars

Jan Omnet NZ

Jan Omnet, New Zealand

The first class that I taught was the two-day Sensational Stars where each student designs and stitches her own unique circular star.   This was a terrific class where each and every student finished their initial design, and some even got their borders done!

Kay Smart

Kay Smart, New Zealand

What’s so refreshing about this class is how each design turns out so differently even though we all begin with the same basic exercises.

Lyn Saxby, Australia

Lyn Saxby, Australia

Most of Lyn’s fabrics were hand-dyed lending to the strong graphic design of this star.

Fire Drill

Fire Drill

Never a dull moment in quilting class.  Just after lunch on day two, there was a fire drill.  Now, I was certain that it was not for real, but I was wrong! Large tea urns were provided in the hallways outside the classrooms so we could enjoy hot beverages throughout the day.  One of them overheated and the alarms were for a real event!  Note that, although it is the middle of winter in this image, it is actually rather warm for a mountain town!

Peggy Morrison NZ

Peggy Morrison, New Zealand

I love the way Peggy used a dark background for her star.  It really makes the colors “POP”!

Michelle Chan, Australia

Michelle Chan, Australia

Michelle used traditional types of fabrics in her star.  Notice how the red outer trim really sets off the star and distinquishes it from the background.

Sensational Stars Class

Sensational Stars Class

My students were the STARS of this class!  I am so proud of each one and I cannot believe that everyone finished the inner star of their design.  I wish that I had enough room in this post to highlight each and every one individually.  You ladies are simply sensational!

 

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Chattahoochie Evening Stars, Alpharetta, GA

Two Stars in Progress

Two Stars in Progress

A quick trip to Alpharetta, Georgia to visit the Chattahoochie Evening Stars rounded out the month of June.  I taught the one-day Scrumptious Star Stitchery class that focuses on Paper Foundation Piecing techniques.  Some of the students finished several of the triangle blocks.  Two are featured above.

All Points Together

All Points Together

What fun we had!  This group is amazingly friendly and a joy to be with.  Not a whiner in the bunch!  At the end of the day, we combined 8 single units made from different fabric combos into one star!  Looks good!

Becky Windle completed all of her sections

Becky Windle completed all of her sections

In this class, there are always a couple of students that finish all of their blocks.  This is the arrangement that Becky Windle created!  I love how all the stars turn our differently even though everyone is using the same pattern.

Show and Tell

Show and Tell

One of the fun things about this trip is that, because I taught class on Sunday but didn’t lecture until Monday night, Show and Tell was really amazing.  Look how much they all got done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell to Halibut Cove

Stillpoint Staff

Stillpoint Staff

We waved good-bye to the amazing staff at Stillpoint Lodge.  Most of them are working throughout the summer season in return for room, board and tips!  Each was dedicated and professional.  In conversation with several of them, I learned that most had found the job on a site called CoolJobs which bills itself as the coolest jobs in the entertainment industry!

Leaving Halibut Cove

Leaving Halibut Cove

And then we were off, to board the Danny J and return to Homer.  Once there, the hustle and bustle was impressive as everyone’s belongings got schlepped up the VERY steep board ramp (tide was out) and into the various vehicles.  We joined in the melee, packing up Maret’s SUV and heading down the road.  However, it wasn’t long after that that Maret suddenly pulled over on the side of the road.

Moose on Roadside

Moose on Roadside

There she was!  Our first really good look at a moose, not 30 feet away.  She seemed unconcerned abut us, taking many photos from the photography blind also known as a car.  We were careful not to get out so as not to disturb her meal.  What a treat!

On the way homeAs we drove northward, we looked out across Katchemak Bay at the other side of the peninsula toward the distant mountains.  That part of the peninsula, which is roadless and sans humans, leads to the elusive Aleutian Islands.

 

Good-bye Alaska Mountains

Good-bye Alaska Mountains

As we neared the Portage Glacier and the run around Turnagin Arm, we stopped for lunch and some photos.  It was our farewell kiss to the magnificence that is our northernmost state.  But, true to it’s very nature, Alaska still had a couple of treats up its sleeve.

Dandelions

Dandelions

Among the short grasses, a veritable bouquet of yellow bloomed across the countryside.  It was the lowly dandelion, brilliantly shining amid a thousand siblings.  Again, thanks to Maret Anderson of Seams Like Home for this amazing experience!

But wait . . .

 

 

 

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Three Days of Heaven

Were fast drawing to and end.

Maret Anderson and Gail

Maret Anderson and Gail

Many, many thanks to Maret Anderson, owner of Seams Like Home in Anchorage, Alaska for organizing this retreat and making our wonderful Alaska adventure possible.  It was simply the best!  The students thought so too.

Jyl and her Quilt Top

Jyl and her Quilt Top

Jyl had opted to bring a pre-printed panel and design fillers to coordinate.  She completely finished her quilt top!

Flying Colors at Stillpoint Retreat 2013

Flying Colors at Stillpoint Retreat 2013

It was simply the best time ever!  If you have a craving for an Alaskan adventure, I highly recommend this retreat.  The next one is scheduled for June 2014.  Read all about it at Seams Like Home.  And, thanks again Maret! All that was left to do was to pack up and head on down the road, first via the Danny J, then the gorgeous drive back to Anchorage.

Alaska still held a few more adventures.  So, stayed tuned . . .

 

 

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Stitching at Stillpoint

Debby Stitches

By days two and three of class, students were making good progress.  Several of the designs included themes based on the aurora borealis, or the northern lights.  Here Debby paper foundation pieces one of the sections of her design.

Wall Art that reflects the mountain nearby

Wall Art that reflects the mountain nearby

It is impossible to not be inspired at this incredible facility, where every small detail has been attended to, like:

Sea Star Art

Sea Star Art

this strategically placed, dried sea star nestled among the roots of the tree, and:

Peace Rock

Peace Rock

this small design in the sand beneath the wall art.  Art is everywhere, strategically positioned to surprise the viewer and inspire all who pass through the doors of Stillpoint Lodge.

Janis and Debby

Janis and Debby

Janis and Debby were table partners, good friends enjoying the class and inspired by our beautiful surroundings.

Kathy completed a good strip

Kathy completed a goose strip

 

Kathy was one of the first to complete a goose strip.

Janis and her Tiny Tree

Janis and her Tiny Tree

Soon afterward, Janis completed the tiny tree in her design.

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Juvenile Bald Eagle

And, all the while, this juvenile Bald Eagle watched rom outside, but also scanned the panorama spread before him/her, a place he called home.

Michele

Michele

Michele, when not taking photos, spent time working on hand applique for the quilt she is making for her grandson, Henry.

The Man in the Tree

The Man in the Tree

While the Man in the tree looked on through the window.

Stay tuned . . .

 

 

 

 

 

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Flying Colors at Stillpoint Lodge

Class Demo

Flying Colors – Day one

There’s nothing I love more than teaching a multi-day class.  In Flying Colors, we begin by learning about drawing tools that take the ‘scare’ out of that blank piece of paper.  This class was sponsored by Maret Anderson at Seams Like Home in Anchorage, Alaska.  Maret offers this as an annual retreat with a different teacher each year.  It is a delightful getaway from the hubbub of our urban lives.

Drawing Demo

Drawing Demo

Using easy techniques, students move on to working on their original designs.  The facilities at Stillpoint Lodge are spacious and the views spectacular.

Drawing Day 1

Drawing Day 1

It is impossible not to be inspired here.  Students spend the first day working on their drawings.

Everyone Draws

Everyone Draws

The designs ranged from simple to complex.  Some brought ideas and images with them to class, while others had a blank palette waiting to be filled.

Dining Hall with Melanie Janis and Linda

Dining Hall with Melanie Janis and Linda

Delicious gourmet meals arrived three times daily, featuring the local seafood and greens grown in the Stillpoint garden.  Our every comfort was attended to so we could focus on our projects.

Stay tuned . . .

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Welcome to Stillpoint Lodge

Stillpoint Lodge

Stillpoint Lodge

Stillpoint Lodge would be home to 20 of us, Michele and me from Albuqueque, and 18 others from the Anchorage area who would be taking my Flying Colors multi-day workshop (more on that in the next post).  The lodge is open only during the summer months and hosts a variety of retreats.

Da Crab

Da Crab

An artists’ pastoral retreat, the grounds boast hidden sculptures and other art, like this little crab that shouted a silent welcome.

Bird Art

Bird Art

This little pair of birds was strategically positioned alongside one of the walking paths.

Tree roots

Tree roots

Even the tree roots appeared to be artistically arranged.

View from the Deck

View from the Deck

My favorite view from the lodge was the one from the main room, and my classroom, as well as the deck.  It looks out onto Katchemak Bay State Park.  There are glaciers behind them thar mountains!

Pipe Art

Pipe Art

I was shown to my very own little cabin where this pipe art marked the turn off to my path.

Hermitage View

Hermitage View

My cabin was called the Hermitage, a tiny little place with the tiniest kitchen ever.  Talk about a well-planned cabin with an incredible view!  Not a morsel of space was wasted, but it was comfortable and homey!

Shell Wreath

Shell Wreath

A little shell wreath graced the wall next to my cabin door!  What a restful retreat from the world and a wonderful classroom environment!

Next up:  Class begins!

 

 

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